How Often Should I Get A Massage?

The most common question I get from my clients is, "How often should I get a massage?" The answer depends on the person asking the question and the benefits they hope to receive.

Here are the general guidelines I recommend: 

General Wellness


If you are a healthy person with no chronic discomfort or injuries, once a month is sufficient. This helps prevent injury and helps you become more aware and in tune with your body. Monthly massage also allows each massage to build upon the last so that you are not essentially starting over from scratch each time you come in. 

Treatment of Chronic Conditions


If you do have chronic discomfort (i.e., migraines, backaches, neck and shoulder aches) or are recovering from an injury, you will need more frequent massages to see lasting relief. A great example of this is exercising. What would you achieve if you excised only once a month (or every 6 months)? It takes frequent trips to the gym to see lasting results. 

When you come in for massage and go back to your regular life, the benefits from the massage last a few days. This doesn't mean you need to come in for massage every three days. During my client sessions, I strive to educate you about what is going on with your body and provide recommendations that will help minimize the reoccurrence of injury and discomfort.

When I see a client with a specific injury, such as sciatica, frequent sessions are necessary; typically weekly or biweekly. There are times I will refer these clients to another practitioner, such as a chiropractor, to work in conjunction with me to speed up the recovery process. To fully recover, you will need to follow the recommended treatment plan. Sciatica is a symptom, but there is an underlying cause to the problem that needs to be addressed to treat the symptom.

Enhanced Athletic Performance


Massage is a necessary support system for athletes to maintain muscle health and flexibility. People preparing for athletic events or heavily involved in sports should receive massage once a week during intense training and less often, perhaps once a month, during the off-season. Massage helps athletes perform at their best, while helping to prevent injury.

Stress Relief


Studies show that the benefits of massage help combat stress, insomnia, and anxiety. People going through a particularly stressful situation or those leading high-stress lifestyles, should aim to receive a massage twice per month.

Long-Term Health


We live in a society that wants a quick-fix, but we also have to take responsibility for our long-term health and well-being. I understand that there are sometimes things preventing you from following through on scheduling massages, such as money and busy schedules. Think about the effects massage will have on your long-term health and well-being. What is that worth to you? Only you can make the decision to heal your body, and I am here to help facilitate the path to healing.

Please feel free to schedule your next appointment online. Massage packages are available for those who would like to receive frequent massage and save money. I look forward to hearing from you!         

(NVMT 7593)
 

Benefits of Sports Massage

My town of residence, Reno, Nevada, was recently named the 2nd fittest city in the nation! Congratulations, Reno! 

With the arrival of spring in Reno/Tahoe comes training for athletic events, such as marathons, cycling events, and triathlons. Sports massage is an important part of an overall wellness routine designed specifically for athletes.    

Sports massage improves athletic performance, reduces pain due to overuse, prevents injury, and shortens recovery time. You may not realize it, but massage therapy affects the cardiovascular system. It dilates blood vessels, which helps them work more efficiently to promote circulation to the muscles and connective tissue. The assistance of encouraging blood flow back to the heart enhances blood flow, which delivers fresh oxygen and nutrients to the tissue and promotes the removal of waste products that build up in the muscles, such as lactic acid.

This increased and enhanced blood flow helps to relieve muscle tension, reduce soreness, and shortens recovery time. Then, the relaxed muscles experience an increase in range of motion and flexibility. Both of these benefits lead to enhanced athletic performance.

If you are an athlete looking for a qualified sports massage therapist, be sure to look for a licensed massage therapist with the designation, "LMT" after their name and their license number posted on any marketing materials. The best way to find a qualified therapist is to ask others who participate in your sporting activity. Word-of-mouth recommendations are typically the best referrals. 

Used as a preventative measure or to address pain and assist in recovery, sports massage is an essential weapon in your training arsenal. Massage therapy has the added bonus of helping you feel relaxed and feel physically and psychologically better, benefits that even the non-athlete enjoys. 

Darcy Blaine, LMT (NVMT# 7593)          

Benefits of Massage Therapy for Cancer Patients

Cancer patients go though a lot of physical, emotional, and psychological trauma which can quickly become overwhelming. Recent medical research shows that massage therapy has multiple benefits for cancer patients. While medication and chemotherapy help with internally treating cancer, massage therapy provides a holistic way of enhancing the benefits of other forms of medical treatment. Massage therapy offers short and long-term benefits to cancer patients.

Benefits of Massage Therapy for Cancer Patients:

Reduces Stress - By activating the parasympathetic nervous system, massage therapy effectively combats the stress hormones coursing though the body as a result of the emotional and physical issues faced during cancer treatment. Stress is a major underlying cause of illness and prevents the body from healing to its full potential. 

Increases Blood Circulation - Massage therapy increases blood flow throughout the body, helping cancer patients respond faster to medication and chemotherapy. When circulation improves, the body creates an abundance of white blood cells, helping cancer patients recover more quickly. 

Pain Reduction - Research has proven that cancer patients who receive massage therapy treatments are more likely to have a reduction in pain, inflammation, and muscle spasms. 

Reduced Edema - Typically, cancer patients experience edema (swelling and accumulation of water) as a result of medication and nerve debilitation that occurs during cancer treatment. Massage therapy greatly reduces edema by increasing lymphatic circulation.

Improves Mood - Cancer patients are faced with many thoughts and feelings which can lead to depression and anxiety. Massage therapy assists in relaxing the mind, giving cancer patients an opportunity relax and clear any negativity.

Improves Sleep - With the anxiety and discomfort of cancer, getting quality sleep becomes a factor. They body simply cannot heal and restore without enough sleep. Cancer patients see an improvement in sleep patterns once the mind and body become more relaxed through massage therapy treatments. 

Overall Wellness - Massage therapy has the capability of helping cancer patients get back to a place of overall wellness by bringing about an overall improvement in the physical, emotional, and psychological aspects of life.    

    

This blog is inspired by my brave clients who are currently undergoing cancer treatment. I admire your courage and strength.

Darcy Blaine, LMT
(NVMT# 7593)

A Hug A Day Keeps Infection Away

A recent article from Dr. Mercola speaks to the value of hugging to avoid infection. As a massage therapist, I immediately related getting more hugs to the value of getting more massage! 

A quote from Dr. Mercola's article: 

"It’s been shown that people who are under stress and in conflict with others are more susceptible to viruses like the common cold. Researchers from Carnegie Mellon University set out to determine whether social support, as gauged by hugging, might in turn be protective against such infections. It turns out their hypothesis was right. Among 404 adults, those who had greater social support and more frequent hugs during conflicts were less likely to “catch” a cold after they were exposed to the virus. The hugs, researchers said, were responsible for about one-third of the protective effect."

According to the study:

This suggests that being hugged by a trusted person may act as an effective means of conveying support and that increasing the frequency of hugs might be an effective means of reducing the deleterious effects of stress…

The apparent protective effect of hugs may be attributable to the physical contact itself or to hugging being a behavioral indicator of support and intimacy… Either way, those who receive more hugs are somewhat more protected from infection.”

What are the benefits of a 10-second hug per day?

Hugging increases the levels of the bonding hormone, oxytocin. Elevated levels of oxytocin in the body have been proven to have beneficial effects on heart health and the immune system. Studies have shown that hugging lowers blood pressure and reduces the harmful physical effects of stress, including its impact on your blood pressure and heart rate. Research suggests there’s even more to it than that.

As reported by Mail Online: 

The skin contains a network of tiny, egg-shaped pressure centers called Pacinian corpuscles that can sense touch and which are in contact with the brain through the vagus nerve. The vagus nerve winds its way through the body and is connected to a number of organs, including the heart. It is also connected to oxytocin receptors. One theory is that stimulation of the vagus triggers an increase in oxytocin, which in turn leads to the cascade of health benefits.”

Later in his article, Dr. Mercola goes on to say that that alternatives to hugs such as massage therapy have similar value. He states that a hug must last at least 10 seconds to have the maximum benefit. Massage therapy sessions last a lot longer than that! 

Add a weekly, biweekly, or monthly massage to your daily hugs and we will all be on our way to superior health!   

See the full article here.

Darcy Blaine, LMT
(NVMT# 7593)

Resources:
http://goo.gl/Jvv8Il
http://goo.gl/0C9aFG